Nibbling On Asian History & Philosophy Series



The Essential Teachings Of Zen Master Hakuin 


Translated By Norman Waddell


“If you want to attain mastery in the Buddha Way you must, to begin with, empty your mind of birth and death. Both samsara and nirvana exist because the mind gives rise to them. The same for the heavens and hells; not one of them exist unless the mind produces them. Hence there is one and only one thing for you to do: make your mind completely empty.”

(page 67)


Hermit Poet’s Comments: Searching and running after emptying the mind is not the answer. The process  will come naturally with meditation and koans. Whatever we allow to enter into our mind affects how we act as a person. If anxious or depressive thoughts enter, then we will feel anxious or depressed. This is easier said than done, and in today’s fast paced upside down, highly competitive, and technologically advanced society, it is difficult to slow down the mind, let alone finding moments of a complete empty mind. Nevertheless, those of us who practice continue on without seeking and just practicing.


The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin: A Translation of the Sokko-roku Kaien-fusetsu (Shambhala Classics)

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